Parallel-parked silver car from side angle in front of brick residential building and greenery; Virginia car insurance minimum limits were only $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash. But in recent good news for anyone who is in a car crash moving forward: minimum limits have gone up in 2022, and are set to go up even more in the coming years.

Car Insurance Minimum Limits: Laws Are Changing

Posted by:
The law until Dec 31, 2021

The “minimum limits” car insurance policy in Virginia has been $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash. While this sounds like a lot of money, the ABRAMS LANDAU car crash injury team has seen lots of cases where the injuries and losses are far greater than these arbitrary amounts. Clients who have been in a car wreck often inform us that they have “full coverage,” only to find out that they were sold “minimum limit” policies by their insurance agent. They feel bamboozled when they realize that the insurance that they paid for to protect them and their loved ones in the case of a collision with an Uninsured Motorist or an UNDERinsured driver, is insufficient where expensive medical care, permanent injuries and disability are caused. The “25/50” minimum limits policy, put into place many years ago for injury protection, hardly protects at all.

Changes to the law

Effective this month is a positive change for insured Virginia motorists. Virginia Code section 46.2-472 is a law that has more than one version with varying effective dates. Below we have set forth the law PRIOR to January 2022, and the law immediately after January 1, 2022. Click https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter3/section46.2-472 and scroll down to see all versions.

Parallel-parked silver car from side angle in front of brick residential building and greenery; Virginia car insurance minimum limits were only $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash. But in recent good news for anyone who is in a car crash moving forward: minimum limits have gone up in 2022, and are set to go up even more in the coming years.
Virginia car insurance minimum limits were only $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash. But in recent good news for anyone who is in a car crash moving forward: minimum limits have gone up in 2022, and are set to go up even more in the coming years.

The law going into effect increases the minimum limits to be compliant with Virginia law from $25,000/$50,000 to $30,000 and $60,000, respectively. After January, 2025, the minimum limits increase to a much more realistic $50,000 and $100,000.

Example

As an example of the impact of this change in Virginia law, let’s look at the hypothetical example of Bridget & Bernie, where Bridget is driving her husband Bernie in Herndon, Virginia. If they were in a car crash in December, with an uninsured driver (who has no real assets) who ran a red light, and the impact was not their fault, they could each only get up to $25,000, even if their medical bills were over $80,000 ($40,000 each) and their lost wages were $20,000 ($10,000 each). There would be $50,000 in unreimbursed losses, despite Bridget and Bernie: NOT being any cause of the crash; being “insured” and in compliance with Virginia law; and, the unsafe driver who struck them was 100% at fault. If this crash occurred after January, 2025, then all $100,000 of their medical bills and lost wages could be covered by their own “Uninsured Motorist” coverage, as they have a compliant $50,000/$100,000 automobile insurance policy.

Attorney Doug Landau posing in front of artwork. The previous $25k/$50k minimum limits in Virginia were problematic -- despite many motorists being insured only AT these amounts, since they were the minimums allowable by law, damages from your motor vehicle accident can easily exceed these amounts, meaning YOU likely get footed with the bill. Thankfully, these limits are on their way to doubling by 2025, giving you better coverage in the event of a future accident.
The previous $25k/$50k minimum limits in Virginia were problematic — despite many motorists being insured only AT these amounts, since they were the minimums allowable by law, damages from your motor vehicle accident can easily exceed these amounts, meaning YOU likely get footed with the bill. Thankfully, these limits are on their way to doubling by 2025, giving you better coverage in the event of a future accident.
Contact Us

If you, or someone you care for, has questions about insurance laws and coverage after a crash or other accident, please e-mail us or call the ABRAMS LANDAU injury law team at once, 703-796-9555. There are strict legal deadlines, so delay can be fatal to a potential claim or case.

Is Maryland Next?

Some experienced DC and Maryland lawyers have noted that it would be great if the Maryland as well as the DC limits would increase by January 1, 2025, to $50,000/$100,000 as well. The question has been asked, “Has any effort been undertaken in Maryland to seek this type of increase by 2025?” The change in Virginia law was in part because of lobbying efforts of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, which Doug Landau has supported his entire career. Their assistance in getting good laws passed, protecting Virginia consumers and the injured victims of unsafe actions, was vital to the passage of this legislation.

 

 

Read up on the law in its former and current forms

The Law As It Was Previously
  • 46.2-472. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Coverage of owner’s policy.

Every motor vehicle owner’s policy shall:

  1. Designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference, all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is intended to be granted.
  2. Insure as insured the person named and any other person using or responsible for the use of the motor vehicle or motor vehicles with the permission of the named insured.
  3. Insure the insured or other person against loss from any liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, and injury to or destruction of property caused by accident and arising out of the ownership, use, or operation of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the Commonwealth, any other state in the United States, or Canada, subject to a limit exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle, of $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and to a limit of $20,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Code 1950, § 46-492; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-504; 1968, c. 685; 1972, c. 433; 1975, c. 382; 1978, c. 550; 1989, cc. 621, 727.

The Law As It Is Now
  • 46.2-472. (Effective January 1, 2022) Coverage of owner’s policy.
  1. For all policies effective on or after January 1, 2022, but prior to January 1, 2025, every motor vehicle owner’s policy shall:
  2. Designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference, all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is intended to be granted.
  3. Insure as insured the person named and any other person using or responsible for the use of the motor vehicle or motor vehicles with the permission of the named insured.
  4. Insure the insured or other person against loss from any liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, and injury to or destruction of property caused by accident and arising out of the ownership, use, or operation of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the Commonwealth, any other state in the United States, or Canada, subject to a limit exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle, of $30,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of $60,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and to a limit of $20,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
  5. For all policies effective on or after January 1, 2025, every motor vehicle owner’s policy shall:
  6. Designate, by explicit description or appropriate reference, all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is intended to be granted.
  7. Insure as insured the person named and any other person using or responsible for the use of the motor vehicle or vehicles with the permission of the named insured.
  8. Insure the insured or other person against loss from any liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, and injury to or destruction of property caused by an accident and arising out of the ownership, use, or operation of such motor vehicle or vehicles within the Commonwealth, any other state in the United States, or Canada, subject to a limit exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle, of $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of $100,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and to a limit of $25,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Code 1950, § 46-492; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-504; 1968, c. 685; 1972, c. 433; 1975, c. 382; 1978, c. 550; 1989, cc. 621, 727; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 273.

  • 46.2-472. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Coverage of owner’s policy.

Every motor vehicle owner’s policy shall:

  1. Designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference, all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is intended to be granted.
  2. Insure as insured the person named and any other person using or responsible for the use of the motor vehicle or motor vehicles with the permission of the named insured.
  3. Insure the insured or other person against loss from any liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, and injury to or destruction of property caused by accident and arising out of the ownership, use, or operation of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the Commonwealth, any other state in the United States, or Canada, subject to a limit exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle, of $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and to a limit of $20,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Code 1950, § 46-492; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-504; 1968, c. 685; 1972, c. 433; 1975, c. 382; 1978, c. 550; 1989, cc. 621, 727.

  • 46.2-472. (Effective January 1, 2022) Coverage of owner’s policy.
  1. For all policies effective on or after January 1, 2022, but prior to January 1, 2025, every motor vehicle owner’s policy shall:
  2. Designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference, all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is intended to be granted.
  3. Insure as insured the person named and any other person using or responsible for the use of the motor vehicle or motor vehicles with the permission of the named insured.
  4. Insure the insured or other person against loss from any liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, and injury to or destruction of property caused by accident and arising out of the ownership, use, or operation of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the Commonwealth, any other state in the United States, or Canada, subject to a limit exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle, of $30,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of $60,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and to a limit of $20,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
  5. For all policies effective on or after January 1, 2025, every motor vehicle owner’s policy shall:
  6. Designate, by explicit description or appropriate reference, all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is intended to be granted.
  7. Insure as insured the person named and any other person using or responsible for the use of the motor vehicle or vehicles with the permission of the named insured.
  8. Insure the insured or other person against loss from any liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, and injury to or destruction of property caused by an accident and arising out of the ownership, use, or operation of such motor vehicle or vehicles within the Commonwealth, any other state in the United States, or Canada, subject to a limit exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle, of $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of $100,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and to a limit of $25,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Code 1950, § 46-492; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-504; 1968, c. 685; 1972, c. 433; 1975, c. 382; 1978, c. 550; 1989, cc. 621, 727; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 273.